Academia.edu as a ScholComm tool?

Saw this article on TechCrunch this morning – 

Academia.edu Raises $4.5 Million To Help Researchers Share Their Scholarly Papers

I’m wondering what affect this will have on scholarly communication efforts to build institutional repositories. Is our ultimate goal to archive and preserve our school’s scholarly record or to fight for open access? Do scholarly communications offices have the responsibility of providing faculty with ALL the available options for open access? 

I spent some time the other day researching FSU faculty on Academia.edu and was very encouraged by the number of papers and faculty who seem to be actively involved there. (Philosophy, 121 papers?!) I did notice, however, that some faculty were uploading the publishers formatted version of their articles, which in most cases in not allowed contractually. There’s work to be done, but I think considering Academia.edu as an essential peice of a healthy ScholComm initiative is something to account for. 

Thoughts? How are your school’s represented on the site? Could Academia.edu be considered an easy first step for introducing open access on campus?

 

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One thought on “Academia.edu as a ScholComm tool?

  1. For those of us willing to go to the trouble to use Academia.edu and put our papers up there (or link to copies on our own Web site, as I do), it helps: helps others find them and read them, helps promote our work, helps us find others working on similar research. This is all especially helpful for students like myself!

    Some don’t see it as helpful, though. I know I’ve heard “I already have my own Web site” and “it takes too much time” as excuses. However, that relies on others already knowing who one is and what research one does; established faculty, of course, may be fine there, but others need to take the time and find ways to become better known.

    I think to get full buy-in to an open access model of scholarly publishing, students and faculty at all levels will need convincing that the advantages they’ll get in return for spending a few minutes uploading to an institutional repository, setting up an Academia.edu profile, etc. are worth it.

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